The Flint. A place where many who are now in their 50s and 60s grew up. It was a booming neighborhood that was the home to some of the best shopping and eateries in the city in 1960 up till around 1990.
If you ask the people that lived there at that time what happened, you will get several stories. A bad economy was one reason, outsiders that didn’t have the love and respect of a neighborhood came in by the truckloads, crime, and drugs as well as to many Bar rooms didn’t help. But I feel the worst of it was the city leaders that turn their back on an area that housed some of the biggest factories that employed 1,000’s and store owners that hung in for decades through ups and down’s. Some think of it as a (Tail of Two Cities), the one that was the best place to raise a family and make a living, to the one that has stores that were once full of shoppers now empty and run down.
It all started before the 90s. Factories began going to the South taking with them the livelihoods of thousands of blue-collar workers. It didn’t take long for other factory owners to learn that they could move to the south and keep more of the profits in their pockets. Sad to say, but they too like the politicians turn their back on the neighborhood.
We are now once again like in the past hearing about a new focus on rebuilding the Flint neighborhood. We had heard many politicians say this, every mayor in the last 30 years and just as many city councilors. But yet, the Flint lay in near ruin. Words without actions, a campaign slogan.
The city they say is on the move back. After a big media storm over the past mayor’s legal issues, we have a new Mayor. He has said he wants to fix up the storefronts and get some new business in there. Many of us who grew up in the Old Flint are not putting a lot of hope into those works. We have just heard them too many times. But, we are Flint Boy’s and girls, we are hard, and we don’t ever turn our back on our neighborhood. So we will give him a chance and will assist in any way we can. But we must say that if it is just another bull shit story, The original Flint population will not forget come re-election time.
It’s hard to write about our Flint, the place I owe so much to. But I must be honest because it is a behavior that has been lost over the years. The Flint will not be easy to fix up. The first thing is allowing the owners who now have a city lean on the properties because of taxes allowing them a permit to work on the stores. You can not rent something that is not fit to walk in. The city will need to take a risk, but the Flint is worth it and has been pushed aside while other neighborhoods got money for parks, streets, sidewalks and rehab. Many times because they were kissing the mayor’s ass. But Mayor Coogan said he is honest, and he said he will work hard for us. Ok, Mayor Coogan, We will work just as hard to help you if you keep your word.
We want our neighborhood back. Please help us make the Flint Great Again.